Come and have lunch with us this festive season

The SAB World of Beer's Tap Room is the perfect place to unwind this festive season. With views over the historic cultural precinct of Newtown and some of the most delicious pub lunches you're likely to experience – not to mention a host of cold beers in this wonderful summer heat – there's really nowhere else to be.

The World of Beer, obviously, is all about beer, which means that, when it comes to our Tap Room, beer is not only served in glasses, but is also an ingredient in several of the dishes on our menu. Be sure to sample our hake in Castle Lager batter; our chicken, leek, corn and pea pie braised in Castle Lite; and our Castle Milk Stout oven-baked beef pie. If you're in the mood for something lighter, there are also a range of salads, toasted paninis and wraps to choose from.

Our Tap Room is open from 10am to 6pm every day. If you join us on one of our tours, you will be treated to two complimentary drinks in the Tap Room afterwards. If you've already experienced our tour and would prefer to head straight to the Tap Room, R40 will see you inside along with two ice-cold beers in hand.

As work quietens down, and the long and languorous summer days extend ahead of you, be sure to pull up a chair at the World of Beer Tap Room. We're open throughout the festive season, except Christmas Day.

Contact us today to make a reservation

Welcome to the new World of Beer website

The SAB World of Beer has seen a couple of important changes lately: we’ve got a new General Manager, Tony Rubin, and a new website to keep him company.

“The World of Beer website needed a facelift,” says Tony. “It needed to reflect the high standards that our tour and conferencing facilities offer, and to be fresh, engaging and exciting to boot. I think our new site hits this spot-on.”

The homepage of the revamped website makes use of striking black-and-white images that speak to the World of Beer’s history. As you hover over each panel, these photographs come to life, showing the contemporary life force behind this heritage. As you click through, the World of Beer opens up before you.

The new website offers information into our tours, beer tasting, conferencing facilities, Tap Room and shop. The tour page provides a virtual journey of our informative, interactive and fascinating tour, complete with glimpses of the role of beer in Ancient Egypt, Southern Africa and Europe, and snippets into the growing of barley and hops and how they are processed to produce beer.

The site was designed and developed by Flow Communications, one of South Africa’s leading digital agencies. Says Flow developer Alex Cowling, who formed part of the team responsible for the new website, “There are several impressive aspects about the new World of Beer website, but one thing that made me very happy was the fact that every graphic used (except for photography) was produced in SVG format. SVGs are small file sizes that compress well, can scale to any size without losing clarity and look great on retina displays.

“Everyone did a great job on this project, and really went above and beyond. Now I'm thirsty for a beer and hungry for a tour.”

“We’re pleased to offer you a digital portal that gives you a solid idea of what you can expect at the World of Beer,” says Tony. “Of course, this is not to suggest that anything beats the real thing, and we look forward to welcoming you at the World of Beer soon.”

Tickets for the World of Beer are now available on Webtickets – another functionality that has been built into the website. Be sure to book your tickets today.

Let us know what you think of our new site, by getting in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and TripAdvisor.

What our visitors are saying about us

The SAB World of Beer multi-media tour has been ranked among the top ten preferred destinations by over 150 reviewers on TripAdvisor.

Our award-winning, interactive tour pays homage to the history of beer making in South Africa and ends with a pint of the cold stuff in a vintage Tap Room with views of inner-city Johannesburg.

Of the 153 (and counting) reviews, 66 gave the destination an “excellent” rating, while 65 opted for “very good” as an apt description of their experience.

Take a look below for some of the feedback we’ve received from local and international visitors who recently took the tour.

If you haven’t yet paid a visit to this award-winning attraction in Newtown, Johannesburg, book your tour today. The price of a ticket includes a beer at halfway, a souvenir glass, two drink vouchers for the Tap Room and bar snacks. 

If you've got any queries at all, simply contact us for more information.

Lowveld Media crowned beer-tasting champs at SAB Media Taste-Off

They examined, smelled and carefully tasted the contents of each glass before them, some giving a confident nod as they wrote down their answers, others looking slightly more perplexed …

SAB’s Media Taste-Off competition was revived in 2015 after years of dormancy, with the exciting grand finale taking place at the SAB World of Beer on 26 February between five media houses from across the country.

Members of the Daily Sun, Lowveld Media, Kasie FM, Vuma FM and the SABC team from Port Elizabeth went head-to-head, pitting their beer-tasting prowess against each other in the hard-fought and hugely entertaining finals.

Beer tasting is no easy business, and in the end only one team could wear the winner’s crown. That honour went to Lowveld Media, who bested their second- and third-place rivals, Kasie FM and the Daily Sun respectively.

Teams blind-tasted five different SAB beers, carefully considering each before submitting their answers to the judges. Fortunately, each team had a designated SAB trade brewer to help guide them along the way.

Lowveld Media’s Mark Kinnear, Mireille de Villiers and Justus Page were elated with their win.

“It was a wonderful evening,” said De Villiers. “The highlight was not only being crowned champions (luckily without having to enter into a nerve-racking taste-off), but also having the opportunity to learn more about the art of tasting from the masters.

“We probably learned more about beer in the past month than in all the years we’ve enjoyed the product! A big thank you to the organisers for making the night such a memorable experience.”

Lowveld Media won the grand prize of a trip on the SAB Heritage Tour – a fun, historical trip of South African beer culture worth R20 000 each.

Ahead of the official taste-off, teams were treated to a beer-tasting masterclass presented by SAB’s sensory manager, Danie Odendaal, which gave them the tools to identify off flavours in beer – like brew that may have been exposed to sunlight or has expired – and taught them what flavour notes to look out for in signature SAB beers like Carling Black Label.

SAB chief brewer Martin Brooks outlined the importance of tasting to everyone at SAB, describing it as crucial to their daily operations.

“We do end-to-end tasting in the brewing process, meaning we taste the beer every step of the way, right up until it’s in the bright beer tanks and ready for distribution,” he explained.

“More importantly, our ingredients are also extensively tasted. When we put our products into trade, we make sure that each beer is perfect – consistent to the taste profile of that particular brand.

“For us, tasting is a language. SAB has been brewing for 120 years, and we now brew 27-billion litres of beer in over 60 countries around the world.

“There are different people, cultures and languages in this equation, and the one thing that tasting actually does for us, is it pulls us together – we all describe the hundreds of different beers that SAB produces in the same way; it’s like a universal language.”

World of Beer general manager Tony Rubin applauded a hugely successful evening.

“It was an honour for us to host the SAB Media Taste-Off finals here at the World of Beer. From here, we need to look at growing the competition and holding it on a regular basis,” he said.

Meet the team: Rosemary Msibi

One of the first questions Rosemary Msibi (and many other employees) is asked when people discover that she is employed by South African Breweries (SAB) is, “How much free beer do you get?”

To which she replies with a wink that it’s a company secret, before admitting that her preferred SAB product is actually mango-goji-flavoured Brutal Fruit.

As PR assistant in the operations division at the SAB World of Beer for the past seven years, Rosemary’s work has been more about public relations and less about tasting beer.

“I manage our tour reservations, tour guiding, tour administration and tour reports,” she says, which brings her into contact with “many people from all parts of the world”.

Interacting with and learning about the people and cultures of foreign countries, and working with film crews on shoots at the World of Beer are the two aspects of her work that she enjoys most.

One of her most amusing tour-related incidents happened when a group of Chinese tourists ordered a round of “black beer” at the bar, to which the barman responded by setting up four Black Labels. However, after much gesticulating and shaking of heads, it turned out that the visitors were in the mood for SAB’s good old staple – milk stout!

The other thing that makes Rosemary happy to get to the office every day is how well the World of Beer team works together and how they support one another.

“We all learn about the many different roles here so we can cover for one another and always deliver consistent, quality customer service,” says Rosemary.

When she’s not organising tours for local and international visitors, Rosemary enjoys reading, particularly women’s magazines and autobiographies.

She also enjoys following social media and tracking the lives of celebrities such as Top Billing presenter Bonang Batheba and the owner of Destiny magazine, Khanye Dhlomo.

Rosemary keeps fit by dancing and attending regular gym sessions.

Meet the team: Asaph Mola

Asaph Mola is the SAB World of Beer's longest-serving staff member. He has been with the World of Beer since the very beginning, almost 20 years ago. 

As facilities assistant, he is responsible for keeping the building shipshape and all systems running smoothly.

"I look after building and technical maintenance," he explains, which includes electrical systems, audio-visual equipment, lighting, computers and small DIY jobs.

Although Asaph has studied computer programming, it’s his handyman skills and electrical expertise that have kept him in great demand at the World of Beer since it opened in 1995.

When he mentions that he works for SAB, people generally respond with a “bring me some beer”. Secure in the knowledge that the World of Beer tour includes beer tasting and a free beer in the pub, he usually responds, "Sure, come and take a tour of my place and then I’ll give you free beer." 

He calls it his "marketing pitch".

Although not a huge beer fan himself, Asaph prefers Castle Lite or a Pressed Lemon Flying Fish if he’s going to have a drink.

He is, however, an ardent sports fan who loves watching live soccer, rugby and cricket.

“I loved watching Jonty Rhodes play and I really miss him. There will never again be someone with his talent,” says Asaph.

His other interests include listening to traditional, smooth and American jazz, and he’s a big fan of Hugh Masekela.

Asaph enjoys the camaraderie among his colleagues. “I enjoy spending time with all the staff here – from the boss to the security guards.

“We laugh together and work hard together to make sure that the World of Beer is in tip-top condition so more customers come to visit us here."

The highpoint of the past two decades for Asaph was the huge numbers of visitors hosted during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

“We had Africans from all over the continent, Italians, Brazilians, Dutch … it was so stunning to see and listen to people from so many different countries over that period,” he says.

Newtown as we know it

The SAB World of Beer proudly stands on the corner Helen Joseph (until very recently, President) and Gerard Sekoto Streets in Newtown – right in the heart of one of Johannesburg’s most culturally vibrant and historically fascinating precincts.

You’ll find the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre opposite us, and just around the corner are the famous Market Theatre and Museum Africa. We’re also a hop, skip and a jump away from one of Joburg’s live music institutions (calling it a venue would do it an injustice), the Bassline, as well as several bars and clubs including Sophiatown, Ko’Spotong, Town Hall and Carfax.

Newtown dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when its brick-making industry gave it the name Brickfields. Later, the area became known as Burghersdorp, but this lasted only until 1904, when Johannesburg’s first forced removals took place here and Burghersdorp was set alight, burning it to the ground in order to fight the bubonic plague that had broken out. In a mad flurry, the area was rebuilt and by October 1904, a “new town” had been created and named accordingly.

Newtown has changed much over the past century. It was only in the 1970s that it became known for its alternative theatre, and only since 2000 has it been developed as “an integrated cultural precinct”. Today, Newtown is part of the “Cultural Arc”, a collection of culturally important institutions and sites that include the University of the Witwatersrand, the South African Ballet Theatre studios, the Joburg Theatre and Constitution Hill.

In the heart of Newtown sits Mary Fitzgerald Square. Formerly known as Aaron’s Ground, the square was named in 1939 in honour of Mary “Pickhandle” Fitzgerald for her contribution as South Africa’s first female trade union representative. The square was commonly used for strikers’ gatherings during the early 20th century. Today, however, you’re more likely to find revellers enjoying live music concerts, such as the annual Vodacom in the City concert, which features international acts in the square every October.

A blend of old and new, Newtown is flanked by a number of significant heritage buildings, while trendy clubs occupy venues in the close vicinity.

Of these, the Market Theatre, founded in 1976 by Mannie Manim and Barney Simon, became known internationally as South Africa’s “Theatre of the Struggle” during the apartheid era for its philosophy that culture can change society. Recognition of its success in fighting the discrimination of apartheid through theatre has come in the form of more than 20 international and 300 South African theatre awards.

Just around the corner from the Market Theatre, and running along one side of Mary Fitzgerald Square, Museum Africa is a beautiful, captivating building that houses everything from ethnological artefacts to paintings, photographs and musical instruments. The museum’s permanent displays reflect Joburg’s geological, social, political and economic history.

Architecturally, Turbine Hall is certainly worth a visit. It was built in the late 1920s as a power station, but has been transformed into a contemporary function venue without losing its roots: its original coal hoppers and turbines are still visible. Turbine Hall speaks to a Newtown that is reinventing itself, while still remaining true to its heritage.

If at the end of your wanderings, you feel the need to sit back and enjoy some live music, there’s no place better to do this than the Bassline. Dating over 20 years, the Bassline (which moved into Newtown from Melville in 2004) is known as the home of South African jazz and Afro-beat, with the occasional poetry reading and jam session thrown in for good measure.

At the World of Beer, we love Johannesburg – and we love Newtown especially. We recommend soaking up every aspect of this amazing place, starting off with a little bit of insight into the origins of beer and a local brew. And where better to do this than at the SAB World of Beer?

Green beer for St Patrick's Day on 17 March

Taps will be flowing green at the World of Beer on 17 March in celebration of those who believe in shamrocks, shillelaghs and their patron saint, St Patrick.

It’s that special day of the year when anyone with Irish roots raises a glass or two to St Patrick (c. AD 385–461), patron saint of Ireland.

To go with your mug of green draught beer, there may even be some traditional Irish music to enjoy and an Irish dish on the menu at the pub at the end of the World of Beer tour, one of South Africa's top attractions. The tour is an interactive journey of discovery that shares the history of beer from its humble origins to the worldwide phenomenon it is today.

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Gaelic, is a cultural and religious occasion that has been celebrated by the Irish in Europe since the ninth and tenth centuries.

During the early 1600s, under the influence of Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, St Patrick’s feast day was placed on the liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church, making it a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland.

St Patrick’s Day became an official Christian feast day in the early 1700s and has continued to be observed as such by the Catholic Church, thd Church of Ireland, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church.

Today, 17 March is the day on which the Irish diaspora across the world celebrates St Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland – and Irish heritage and culture in general.

Celebrations take the form of public parades and festivals, as well as cèilidh, traditional Gaelic social gatherings at which folk music and dancing takes place at which green attire or shamrocks are worn.

Christians attend church services on the day and self-imposed restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol during the 40 days of Lent are lifted for the day, which leads to a great deal of partying.

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is also widely celebrated in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

The key ingredients of a good conference

What makes a good conference? While it may be tempting (especially on this website) to say "just add beer", there's a little more to it than that. Luckily, we've got you covered ...

Great venues

We have five different venues for you to choose from, all of them with a five-star rating from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. So whether you need an intimate space for ten or a large open area for 200, you'll find something to suit at the SAB World of Beer.

All venues come with standard audiovisual equipment, and specialised gear can be hired if needed. We'll make sure your presentation runs smoothly.

Tasty food

At the World of Beer delegates never go hungry. We serve a range of food, including proudly South African cuisine, so you can enjoy local delicacies like pap and chakalaka, meat straight off the spit braai, or even traditional pub grub. Our caterers are flexible and can suit any dietary requirement.

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Team-building activities

Bring your team together or keep your delegates entertained with some on-site activities. Do the beer tour and discover the history of South African Breweries, or join a brewmaster for a beer tasting. We can even arrange a food and beer pairing.

Beer tours

The guided tours take you on a trip back in time through the origins of beer and the history of the South African beer industry. Step into an immersive, surround-sound, multimedia experience where Charles Glass comes to life and opens the door to a journey like no other. The tour ends off with a cold pint in the Tap Room overlooking the city and a keepsake World of Beer glass.

Beer tastings

Our tour guide will take you through the characteristics of five SAB beers and their specific brewing processes.

Beer and food pairings

For conferences, an SAB brewer and a celebrity chef will create a menu for beer and food pairing, and host an interactive and entertaining meal for your guests.

"We don’t really have a limit to what we can do," says events and marketing co-ordinator Crystal Partridge. "We offer hospitality packages for Ellis Park, host media events and even have weddings at the World of Beer."

Accommodation close by

We're located in Johannesburg's Newtown area, an entire precinct specially dedicated to cultural activities and the arts. There are also quality hotels nearby, and we can arrange a comprehensive accommodation, catering and venue package to suit you.

If these sound like the key ingredients you are looking for in a conference, visit this page for more information or get in touch with us.

Our opening hours this Easter weekend

This year, for the first time, the World of Beer will be open for the Easter weekend. That's excellent news if you're going to be in Johannesburg over this period, and if you're looking for something interesting and exciting to do. 

Please take a look at our hours below, and make sure that you book in advance. It's going to be a busy, fun-filled weekend. 

  • Friday, 3 April 2015: Open for normal tours and pub lunches, 10am to 6pm. There will, however, be no beer tastings on this day
  • Saturday, 4 April 2015: Open for normal tours, beer tastings and pub lunches, 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday, 5 April 2015: The World of Beer will be closed
  • Monday, 6 April 2015: Open for tours, beer tastings and pub lunches, 10am to 6pm

While we're at it, we'd also like to let you know that the World of Beer will be open for tours, beer tastings and pub lunches on Freedom Day, Monday, 27 April 2015. As always, our final tour will take place at 5pm.

Book today through Webtickets, or give us a call

World of Beer soon to be open seven days a week

It's been almost 20 years since the World of Beer opened its doors to the public – almost 20 years of tours that have told the story of beer, the story of South African Breweries and the story of the beer-making process.

As the years have passed, the World of Beer has evolved. Two years after it opened, it made space available for the hosting of a variety of conferences, which still forms a key part of the World of Beer's service offering today. Then, in March 2014, beer tasting was introduced. It's been one adventure after another.

The latest development is that the World of Beer will now be open seven days a week, starting on Freedom Day, Monday 27 April 2015.

"It is exciting that the World of Beer will be open seven days a week," says Felicia Mokhehle, operations supervisor at the World of Beer.

"Throughout the years, we have always been open on Father's Day, which is a Sunday. We have found this to be very successful and have always had a large number of visitors on this day. It therefore made sense to offer this on a continuous basis. The red City Sightseeing bus also goes past the World of Beer every day."

So, join us from 27 April, from 10am to 6pm, for tours, conferences and beer tastings – and scrumptious lunches in the Tap Room, of course.

Keeping visitors happy is all in a day's work for Felicia Mokhehle

World of Beer operations supervisor Felicia Mokhehle has a penchant for South African Breweries' strawberry-flavoured Brutal Fruit – strictly after hours, of course.

During working hours, Felicia is kept on the go overseeing the organisation’s tour guides and managing The Tap Room staff.

On any given day, this might include interacting with tourists and providing information about South African Breweries, discussing the history of beer-making or explaining processes and innovation at the World of Beer. Felicia also ensures that The Tap Room is kept fully stocked so customers can conclude their tour of the facility in style with a couple of fresh beers on tap.

“Essentially, my job is to ensure that visitors leave here feeling good about the World of Beer and keen to spread the word about us,” says Felicia.

To keep up with the tour guides and many visitors, she sticks to a strict gym routine every morning from 7am to 9am, working late to fill her hours. Felicia also enjoys reading women’s magazines and listening to radio talk shows.

She is currently studying business management part-time through Unisa and is happy to be able to implement some of the theory she is learning in her daily work. “Happy customers are what make me happy every day. I am passionate about my job,” Felicia says.

Felicia joined World of Beer 16 years ago as a tour guide. She moved on to become events coordinator, and later operations supervisor. From March 2014 to November 2014 Felicia held the position of acting general manager until the appointment of the new general manager, Tony Rubin.

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